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LRT, MRT fare hike likely in August — DOTC


The P10 fare increase on Metro Manila’s three elevated railways could start in August as the government expects to cut back subsidy on train operations, Transportation and Communications Secretary Emilio Abaya said.

“Wala pa namang eksaktong petsa, pero ang plano namin within the year ma-execute po ito [fare hike],” Abaya said in a report on GMA News TV's “Kape at Balita” on Friday. “Siguro August.” 

The increase will come in two tranches: one this year and another in 2014.

“On the average ang increase po ay P5 sa unang taon at sa ikalawang taon ay P5 din po,” Abaya said. “Aabutin po roughly ng P10. Ang desisyon po namin ay hatiin po ito by P5 on the average per year.”  

The increase was proposed as the government eyes to lessen its subsidy for train operations.

LRT-1 runs from Baclaran in Pasay to Roosevelt in Caloocan city, while LRT-2 runs from Santolan in Pasig City to C.M. Recto in Manila.

The MRT, meanwhile, links North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City via Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA).



“(Ang) panukala ng ating pamahalaan na i-increase ito (pamasahe) para ‘yung subsidy na  binibigay (ng) ating pamalahaan sa LRT at MRT ay mabawasan at mailagay sa ibang serbisyong maaaring ibigay sa taongbayan,” he said.

“Clearly, ‘pag may subsidy sa rail talagang ang nakikinabang sa subsidy niyan ay ‘yung mga gumagamit lamang samantalang ‘yung mga taga-Mindanao at Visayas (ay) bihira lang magagamit ang LRT at MRT so therefore ‘yung subsidy noon technically ay hindi nila napapakinabangan,” he added.

Abaya the fare hike has been approved since last year but has been stalled for sometime.

“Unang-una, matagal niyo nang narining na na-approve na po ito… Natapos na po ang public consultation. Pero ako personally, maganda na magkaroon ng public consultation muli para malaman ang sentimyento (ng publiko),” he said.

Meanwhile, militant group Bayan on Friday labeled the fare hike as “unjust and anti-commuter.”

“The increase is an unjust burden on commuters. The fare hike will not necessarily go to improved services since it will only be used to pay the debts incurred by the train lines,” Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr. said in a statement.
 
He added that the “P6 billion to P9 billion yearly subsidy goes to paying off the huge debts of the train lines. The justification for the fare hike is that subsidy is being reduced. This means that debt payments will now be taken from the pockets of the commuters.” — Rouchelle Dinglasan/KBK, GMA News
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